An Honest Look at Illegal Immigration

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Simon Brand, "Paraiso Travel" in theaters July 24

Published on LatinoLA: July 19, 2009

An Honest Look at Illegal Immigration

Phase 4 Films will release Para?¡so Travel, the acclaimed Colombian film, in theaters on Friday, July 24 in New York and Los Angeles. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Simon Brand ("Unknown"), the film stars newcomers Aldemar Correa and Ang?®lica Bland??n, with powerful performances by Margarita Rosa de Francisco, Ana de la Reguera and, John Leguizamo.

Para?¡so Travel tells the story of Marlon (Aldemar Correa), a young Colombian man motivated by his girlfriend Reina (Ang?®lica Bland??n) to leave his comfortable life in Medellin, Colombia. Together they embark on an unpredictable journey as they flee through Guatemala and Mexico, crossing the borders illegally into the United States. Marlon's journey, which takes him through seedy strip clubs, dance halls, homeless hostels, and the streets of Jackson Heights, New York, ultimately leads him to a place he could not have predicted. The film is a true love story where the pursuit of dreams becomes each character's obsession. Balancing the search to reconnect with his love and finding his way in this new country, it is through Marlon's eyes that the viewer will perceive the world of Latino immigrants on the streets of New York, where survival depends on the solidarity of your fellow countrymen. Convinced that the love he feels for his girlfriend can withstand anything, it is also on the New York streets where Marlon will find himself.

From the author that brought us the best selling novel "Rosario Tijeras," the film is the adaptation of Jorge Franco's acclaimed novel of the same title, Para?¡so Travel. The film stole the hearts of the public and critics at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival during its U.S. premiere. It has received recognition at numerous U.S. and international film festivals and has won 14 awards, including Best Film (Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, San Diego Latino Film Festival, Cancun Riviera Maya Film Festival) and Audience Awards (San Francisco International Latino Film Festival, Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, Montreal Festival?¡ssimo Film Festival).

Time Magazine's Tim Padgett headlined the film as "an honest look at illegal immigration." He added, "the movie takes the Colombian boom up a notch into the realm of films like City of God that Latin American critics are calling la buena onda ÔÇô a more consistent "groove" of first-rate moviemaking that showcases a distinctive Latin feel, a documentary-style realism splashed with artful devices like hopscotch flashbacks and colorfully detailed shots."

Renowned Colombian music video and advertising director Simon Brand, who has directed today's hottest Latino talent from the music world including Juanes, Alejandro Fern?índez, Paulina Rubio and Ricky Mart?¡n, directs his second feature film and first Spanish production with a story close to his heritage that resonates with immigrants of all backgrounds and origins. Para?¡so Travel's success in connecting with audiences was first seen when the film broke box office records in Colombia when it was released last year and held the #1 spot for months, only to be topped by The Dark Knight. The film transcends more than an understanding of Colombian immigration and assimilation into the United States, to tell a larger human story of all Latino immigrants. Para?¡so Travel truly captures the immigrant experience, from angst and constant fear, to adventure, desire and dreams.

Phase 4 Films and Para?¡so Pictures present Para?¡so Travel. Starring Aldemar Correa, Ang?®lica Bland??n, Margarita Rosa de Francisco, Ana de la Reguera, and John Leguizamo. Directed by Simon Brand. Written by Juan Rend??n and Jorge Franco. Based on the novel "Para?¡so Travel" by Jorge Franco. Co-Producers, John Leguizamo and Juan Santiago Rodriguez. Produced by Para?¡so Pictures and Grand Illusions Entertainment Productions.

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